Even Gold-Obsessed Indians Are Pouring Billions Into Crypto

The cryptocurrency aficionados’ mantra that Bitcoin is equivalent to digital gold is winning converts among the world’s biggest holders of the precious metal. From a report:In India, where households own more than 25,000 tonnes of gold, investments in crypto grew from about $200 million to nearly $40 billion in the past year, according to Chainalysis. That’s despite outright hostility toward the asset class from the central bank and a proposed trading ban. Richi Sood, a 32-year-old entrepreneur is one of those who swerved from gold to crypto. Since December, she’s put in just over 1 million rupees ($13,400) — some of it borrowed from her father — into Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Ether.

[…] She’s part of a growing number of Indians — now totalling more than 15 million — buying and selling digital coins. That’s catching up with the 23 million traders of these assets in the U.S. and compares with just 2.3 million in the U.K. The growth in India is coming from the 18-35 year old cohort, says the co-founder of India’s first cryptocurrency exchange. Latest World Gold Council data indicated Indian adults under age 34 have less appetite for gold than older consumers.

Read More: Bloomberg.com

Facebook Rises After Lawsuit Dismissal, Hits $1 Trillion Value

A federal court on Monday dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust complaint against Facebook, as well as a parallel case brought by 48 state attorneys general, dealing a major setback to the agency’s complaint, which could have resulted in Facebook divesting Instagram and WhatsApp.

Shares of Facebook rose more than 4% on Monday following the rulings, sending the social media company’s market capitalization above $1 trillion for the first time.

“We are pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints against Facebook,” the company said in a statement. “We compete fairly every day to earn people’s time and attention and will continue to deliver great products for the people and businesses that use our services.”

Read More: CNBC.com

DuckDuckGo Beats Bing to Become #2 Mobile Search Engine in US, Canada, Australia

  • “Our apps have been downloaded more than 50 million times over the last 12 months, more than all prior years combined…

  • “Spurred by the increase in DuckDuckGo app usage, over the last 12 months our monthly search traffic increased 55% and we grew to become the #2 search engine on mobile in many countries including in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. (StatCounter/Wikipedia).”

  • They’re now pulling in over $100 million a year in revenue, “giving us the financial resources to continue growing rapidly,” and at the end of 2020 they also landed a “mainly secondary investment” of over $100 million from a long list of investors (which included Tim Berners-Lee as well as Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor).

Read More: Slashdot.org

Microsoft Retires Azure Blockchain

Microsoft recently announced that Azure Blockchain will be retired on September 10, 2021. Microsoft credited industry changes and declined interest in the product as the main reasons for discontinuing the marketing of Azure Blockchain. Microsoft partners with ConsenSys to offer a migration path for existing customers. ConsenSys’s Quorum Blockchain Service claims to be fully compatible with the Azure Blockchain service.

Read More: InfoQ.com

Microsoft releases its own OpenJDK

“Microsoft has announced general availability of the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK, the open-source version of the Java development kit,” reports ZDNet:The release follows the April preview of the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK, a long-term support distribution of OpenJDK… Microsoft announced general availability for the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK at its Build 2021 conference for developers.

Microsoft is a major user of Java in Azure, SQL Server, Yammer, Minecraft, and LinkedIn, but it’s only been supporting Java in Visual Studio Code tooling for the past five years. “We’ve deployed our own version of OpenJDK on hundreds of thousands of virtual machines inside Microsoft and LinkedIn,” Julia Liuson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s developer division, told ZDNet. “Across the board Microsoft has over 500,000 VMs running Java at Microsoft. We’re also providing that to customers as well for Azure….”

Read More: Slashdot.org

Microsoft introduces its own command line manager, winget

One of the things I love about Ubuntu is its apt aka the advanced package tool. Like its peers such as Pacman, Yum and DNF it has no equal in Windows. It derives part of its powers from the fact that Ubuntu and other similar Distros are open source and very modular. This means you can upgrade, downgrade or remove anything. I mean anything including the kernel(s) i.e the heart of the operating system.

Winget works but it kind of reminds me of the old attempts by some in the Ubuntu community to tweak their desktops to look like Windows XP. The similarities were never more than skin deep and the moment you tried to do something “Windowsy” it would explode in your face. winget is like that too.Microsoft has introduced its own Linux.

Read More: TechZim

Amazon’s ad revenue is now twice as big as Snap, Twitter, Roku and Pinterest combined

Amazon’s “Other” unit, which is primarily made up of advertising but also includes sales related to other service offerings, grew revenue a whopping 77% year-over-year to more than $6.9 billion in the first quarter, the company reported last month. “Performance ads on the ecommerce sites fueled by Amazon’s high-intent traffic and unparalleled user insights are providing significant value for sellers and brands,” Loop Capital analysts wrote in the Monday note.

Amazon said early this month its ad-supported streaming video content now reaches more than 120 monthly users every month, driven by platforms like Twitch. Amazon generated $22.4 billion in ad revenue in the past 12 months, up 65% year-over-year, according to Loop. That was 2.4 times the $9.3 combined revenue total of middle-cap ad platforms Snap, Twitter, Roku and Pinterest, which grew by 38% over that same timeframe.

More @ CNBC.com

What Python Creator Guido van Rossum Thinks of Rust, Go, Julia, and TypeScript

Python’s creator Guido van Rossum shared his opinions on other programming languages during a new hour-long interview with Microsoft’s principle cloud advocate manager.

“Because JavaScript and Python are relatively similar… Much more so than Python and say C++ or Rust or Java. So we are learning from TypeScript, and occasionally, from my conversations with Anders, it sounds like TypeScript is also learning from Python, just like JavaScript has learned from Python in a few areas.”

Read More: SlashDot.org

The US Federal Reserve begins looking into its own digital currency

This technology also offers new possibilities to central banks—including the Fed. In particular, it enables the development and issuance of central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs. A CBDC is a new type of central bank liability issued in digital form. While various structures and technologies might be used, a CBDC could be designed for use by the general public.

Read More: FederalReserve.gov

At the same time, the Fed is likely trying to accelerate work toward a potential US digital currency as other nations, particularly China, are farther along. Last December, China announced that select users could spend digital yuan given out in a lottery-type experiment. Digital currency is seen as a way for a China to not just a way to bolster its own monetary system, but as a tool for soft power internationally.

Read More: Engaget

7 EdTech Startups Looking to Take Online Education Mainstream In Bangladesh

Internet penetration has doubled in Bangladesh over the last five years with an average 13.5% annual growth — some 67% of the country’s total population now use the internet. While Bangladesh lags its Asia Pacific peers in smartphone usage, the smartphone penetration has seen consistent growth with 41% of total mobile phone users having smartphones.

01 – 10 Minute School
02 – Bohubrihi
03 – Shikho
04 – Durbin Academy
05 – Thrive edTech
06 – Up Skill
07 – Ostad

Read More @ – Future Startup.com

Magic Data Won Intel Acceleration Program for conversational AI

On May 20, 2021, Intel published the 5th issue of its AI 100 Acceleration Program List at the 2021 Shenzhen (International) Artificial Intelligence Exhibition, and Magic Data-Tech was selected for the program relying on its strong innovation strength.

The Intel AI 100 Acceleration Program, aiming to promote 100 excellent AI innovation teams in three years, is based on Intel’s complete AI product portfolio and unique advantages of innovative collaboration of software and hardware, uniting with the industrial partners with the notion of “Motivating Innovation and Speeding up Industries.” So far, 78 AI innovation companies have joined Intel AI 100 Acceleration Program. Being included in the program is Intel and the industry’s recognition for and encouragement to Magic Data Tech’s innovation ability.

Before Intel’s booth at the Exhibition, Qingqing Zhang, founder and CEO of Magic Data Tech, introduced three main products and services of Magic Data Tech to media and guests. Magic Data Tech provides more than 150,000 hours of datasets of over 60 languages for conversational AI, covering finance, automobile, SNS, home automation, end-user device, and other industries. Magic Data Tech also provides privatization deployment services, supplying one-stop and customized data labeling services while fully ensuring data security for enterprises.

In response to the demand of data, Magic Data Tech recently launched an open-source data community─MagicHub (https://magichub.io/). For now, the community has released more than 30 sets of open-source data for AI developers’ use, and the release continues.

Read More: MarTechCube.com

Top 5 – Internet Of Things — Hacking Tools

Ethical hacking IoT tools help collect information, malicious behavior and payloads, password cracking, and a range of other activities. Hacking Tools are computer programs and scripts that aid in detecting and exploiting defects in computer systems, web applications, and networks.

Why are IoT Ethical Hacking Tools Used?

Ethical hacking helps companies protect their information and systems better. It is also the best way to improve the skills of an organization’s security professionals. It can be beneficial to make ethical hacking part of an organization’s security efforts. Humans are always the weakest links with the highly sophisticated defenses that are broken by cybercriminals. Several major companies have reported significant security violations in the recent past. Ethical hacking IoT tools help companies identify potential internet security deficiencies and prevent infringements of data.

Read More: EC-Council.org

And the Top Source of Critical Security Threats Is…PowerShell

That’s right, Microsoft’s CLI management tool was the source of more than a third of critical security threats detected by Cisco in the second half of 2020, according to eSecurity Planet.

Dual-use tool exploitation was the top threat category noted by Cisco, followed by ransomware, fileless malware, and credential dumping, with PowerShell a primary vector in those last two categories also.

“Based on Cisco’s research, PowerShell is the source of more than a third of critical threats,” noted Gedeon Hombrebueno, Endpoint Security Product Manager for Cisco Secure.

Cisco recommends a number of protection steps that are, of course, made easier with Cisco Secure Endpoint, and other EDR tools are effective against PowerShell exploits also.

But there are a number of steps admins can (and should) take that are completely free, like preventing or restricting PowerShell execution in non-admin accounts, allowing execution of signed scripts only, and using Constrained Language mode.

Read More: eSecurityPlanet.com

Shoppers already love Chinese brands

Chinese companies used to be known for making cheap and low-quality stuff for other firms’ international brands. No longer. The “Made in China” of cheap, brandless, low-quality stuff is ending. “Branded in China,” complete with cheeky English names and savvy, localized social media branding strategies, is just beginning. Chinese companies are flocking into overseas markets, but with a twist: Many of their devoted customers don’t know they’re from China.

In China’s ecommerce sector, the practice is known as building “independent sites (独立站)” overseas. It’s a clear pivot away from the earlier practice of selling via third-party ecommerce platforms like Amazon and AliExpress. In 2020, China’s crossborder ecommerce exports totaled $174 billion, up 40.1% from 2019, according to a recently published industry report by Equal Ocean, a tech-focused Chinese think tank. This compares with the 4.5% growth rate in domestic ecommerce.

Read More: Protocol.com

Everything You Need To Know About The Monday.Com IPO

Work management platform Monday.com confidentially filed IPO paperwork in early May and released its F-1 on May 17. The Tel Aviv-based SaaS provider was founded in 2012 and achieved a valuation of $2.7 billion in a funding round uncovered by Bloomberg in May 2020.

The stakeholders of Monday.com say:

Monday.com disclosed the following ownership stakes, as they stood prior to any offering:

  • Insight Partners owned a 42.7% stake.
  • Monday.com co-founder and CEO Roy Mann owned a 15.3% stake.
  • Sonnipe Limited owned a 12.4% stake.
  • Stripes owned a 7.8% stake.

Read More @ – Protocol.com

20 Free Title Generator Tools for Writing Better Headlines

Title generator tools help you write engaging, SEO-friendly headlines. Try these 20 free options to improve your blog and webpage titles.

While we do all we can to entice users to read our content from start to finish, the harsh reality is that most readers are skimmers when ingesting online content.

The old adage is that for every 10 visitors, eight will read your headline but only two will go on to read the rest of the article. What’s more, you have to get them to your page in the first place and often, they’re making that decision based on the title they see in search and social.

Writing magnetic headlines is essential for attracting more visitors to your website.

Fortunately, there are free title generator tools available to help you write headlines that are concise, click-worthy, and SEO-friendly.

Here are the best free title generators you can use to write better headlines and make every click count.

Read More: SEJ

SMS traffic back to nearly 1 billion / day under new system to check pesky messages

India’s mobile SMS traffic has reached close to a billion SMSes per day, similar to the levels before the new regime was implemented on April 1, thus showing increased adaptability to the blockchain technology-based system to filter pesky messages.

The volume of SMSes delivered per day had declined almost 30% to 700 million in the first week of April as business entities held back on sending promotional SMSes to avoid failures. But now that the traffic has reached almost normal levels, experts expect the SMS channel to grow beyond 1 billion as Covid-led restrictions make it the most relevant choice for marketing needs of enterprises.

“A big change like DLT (distributor ledger technology) was well adopted in a few weeks by businesses which tells you that SMS still has a long way to sustain,” said Aniketh Jain, chief revenue officer of telemarketing firm Kaleyra.

Read More: IndiaTimes.com

Bitcoin, Dogecoin See Big Drops After China Reiterates Ban On Crypto Services

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum and seemingly every cryptocurrency out there took a big hit Wednesday following the news of China reconfirming its criticism of the crypto service. This appeared to contribute to a sell-off across the board and is even affecting the stock market. CNET reports:

The China Internet Finance Association said it will not allow the country’s financial institutions to partake in any business related to cryptocurrency due to the volatile nature of the digital coins, according to a Chinese media report Tuesday that was spotted earlier by Coindesk. This move isn’t new. China took a similar stance back in 2017, which also resulted in a massive Bitcoin selloff.

More: CNet.com

Google Rekindles Interest in RSS

Chrome, at least in its experimental Canary version on Android (and only for users in the U.S.), is getting an interesting update in the coming weeks that brings back RSS, the once-popular format for getting updates from all the sites you love in Google Reader and similar services.

In Chrome, users will soon see a ‘Follow’ feature for sites that support RSS and the browser’s New Tab page will get what is essentially a (very) basic RSS reader — I guess you could almost call it a “Google Reader.” Now we’re not talking about a full-blown RSS reader here. The New Tab page will show you updates from the sites you follow in chronological order, but it doesn’t look like you can easily switch between feeds, for example. It’s a start, though.

More @ TechCrunch.com

Why Does Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Season 1 Cost $465 Million?

The Lord of the Rings prequel spin-off series is currently in the works at Amazon Prime Video, and it was revealed last month that the first season would cost an eye-popping $465 million (about Rs. 3,408 crore) to produce. In a new interview, Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke has clarified that The Lord of the Rings’ astronomical budget is due to the “huge world-building” required — from the Middle-earth setting to costumes, props, and so on for the many species of characters involved in LOTR — and that it’s about “really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series.”

Read More: NDTV.com

Twitter Reportedly Finishing Up Revamped Verification Badge Process, May Launch Soon

Twitter paused public submissions for verification badges in 2017. Since then, it has been working on a new verification programme to offer the blue tick mark to users who deserve it the most. Now, a new leak suggests that Twitter is close to launching the new verification process. This process will ask users a series of questions, giving them a chance to get the verified badge, if they fulfil specified criteria. There are a bunch of people who can request for a verified badge, including activists, influencers, journalists, news organisations, government officials, and more.

Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong tweeted that Twitter is finishing up the new verification process and looks to launch it sometime soon. While she says the new process is at the finishing stage, the tipster doesn’t offer details on a proper launch date or even a time frame. A screenshot shows the kind of details that will be asked during the new verification process. Initially, Twitter informs that the verification process is only for notable groups or people within a specific category. These categories are broadly classified by Twitter as well, and Wong has shared a screenshot of what these categories may be.

Read More: NDTV.com

Afghanistan Ministry of Health to use Blockchain Technology of Fantom to Combat Drug Fraud

In a ceremony attended by a host of government officials, the fastest blockchain platform Fantom and the Afghanistan Ministry of Health jointly announced the successful trial of Fantom products and the official rollout of the National Medical Importation Security Initiative. Built on the blockchain-powered Fantom Tracker product, this anti-counterfeit pharmaceutical initiative responds to a critical need in Afghanistan for proven tools to identify illegal and fraudulent medicines.

Fantom Tracker integrates the Nigeria-based Chekkit Technologies’ scanning and verification tools with Fantom’s Opera blockchain. Immutable and blazingly fast, Opera secures manufacturer and supply-chain data and communicates it to users and consumers scanning Chekkit’s tamper-proof labels.

In an initial pilot phase, Fantom products were rigorously tested in Afghanistan by partners:
@ – Royal Star Pharma: Afghanistan’s largest importer and distributor of medical goods
@ – Bliss GVS Pharma: A large, publicly-traded medical goods manufacturer based in Mumbai, India
@ – Nabros Pharma: A privately held, India-based manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals

Read More:
1. Globe News Wire

The Hidden Costs of Mismanaged R&D Projects in Biotech and Pharma

Mismanagement of R&D projects in biotech and pharma is more common than one might think and can result in high development costs and eventual clinical failure. Can we do something about it?

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses are synonymous with both a high risk and an even bigger investment. Bringing new drugs to the market can take around 10 years of R&D and a lot of cash, averaging $1.3B per drug⁠.

While we often hear about clinical trial failures, a less-discussed aspect is failure in the initial steps in the drug discovery and R&D process management. In fact, the success of the drug discovery process is notoriously low with an overall failure rate of over 96%.

Read More:
1. LAbiotech.eu

A redux of the Linux movement in open source pharma

Since 2015, there has been an Open Source Pharma movement against restrictive patents. It supports the compulsory licensing of patents on life-saving drugs. According to Dr. Manica Balasegaram of the Access Campaign, open source pharma is against a protectionist proprietary silo-based approach, and promotes a culture of free and critical thinking, openness to ideas and sharing of information.

Read More:
1. LiveMint.com

Linux Foundation Launches Digital Agriculture Project – Agstack

The Linux Foundation has launched an open source digital infrastructure project for agriculture with the aim of promoting global collaboration across the agricultural industry. AgStack will aim to increase digital transformation and address climate change, rural engagement and food and water security.

AgStack consists of an open repository to create and publish models, free and easy access to public data, interoperable frameworks for cross-project use and topic-specific extensions and toolboxes.

It will use existing technologies such as agriculture standards (AgGateway, UN-FAO, CAFA, USDA and NASA-AR); public data (Landsat, Sentinel, NOAA and Soilgrids; models (UC-ANR IPM), and open source projects like Hyperledger, Kubernetes, Open Horizon, Postgres and Django.

At the moment the foundation is long on enthusiastic statements from the founding members, and short on practical software. The list of founding members is headed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Our Sci.

The reasoning behind the new foundation is that the global agriculture ecosystem needs a digital transformation to sustainably serve the needs of the 21st century. The Linux Foundation says that a digital infrastructure is necessary to catalyze applications that bring efficiency and enable scale.

The AgStack Foundation is commissioning software infrastructure that will be community-maintained and provide a free, open-source, and secure digital “operating system” for digital agriculture applications for any agriculture stakeholder.

The AgStack Foundation technical projects will form an umbrella of technologies that the members hope will be used for software and data tools and frameworks to enable easy and common access for content creators and content consumers for the agriculture ecosystem. Software and tools within the foundation will be open and freely available, publishable, and re-usable.

Underpinning the new foundation is the fact that thirty-three percent of all food produced is wasted, while nine percent of the people in the world are hungry or undernourished.

Links:
1. AgStack.org
2. I-Programmer.info

Woo.com acquired by WooCommerce

Domain Investing – reported on April 22, 2021 that Woo.com has been acquired by WooCommece.com.

The WayBack Machine engine shows the previous hosted web-page on Woo.com here.

Woo.com is a great, short domain name. Assuming WooCommerce or Automattic acquired the domain name, it gives the company more flexibility with their branding. Instead of being known as WooCommerce, the business could simply rebrand itself as Woo.

Read More @ – Domain Investing

Linus says, “Start Small”

Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small _trivial_ project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you’ll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision.

So start small, and think about the details. Don’t think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn’t solve some fairly immediate need, it’s almost certainly over-designed. And don’t expect people to jump in and help you. That’s not how these things work. You need to get something half-way _useful_ first, and then others will say “hey, that _almost_ works for me”, and they’ll get involved in the project.

And if there is anything I’ve learnt from Linux, it’s that projects have a life of their own, and you should _not_ try to enforce your “vision” too strongly on them. Most often you’re wrong anyway, and if you’re not flexible and willing to take input from others (and willing to change direction when it turned out your vision was flawed), you’ll never get anything good done.

In other words, be willing to admit your mistakes, and don’t expect to get anywhere big in any kind of short timeframe. I’ve been doing Linux for thirteen years, and I expect to do it for quite some time still. If I had _expected_ to do something that big, I’d never have started. It started out small and insignificant, and that’s how I thought about it.

Hello World

Welcome to my first blog post. My name is Navin Dhanuka. I am from Mumbai, India. I am an Information Architect by profession. I am an Open Source evangelist.

My interests lies in being a: UX Designer, Usability Analyst, Author, Hacker, Entrepreneur, Cloud Engineer, AI Researcher, Blue Ocean Pioneer, Growth Hacker, Blogger, YouTuber & more.

I have been in computing since 1999 and its been a long time. I have done websites and I have also done WordPress based websites. I have also done lot of wireframes.

I intend to work now on self-publishing on the Kindle platform. I have already shortlisted more than 21 titles on various aspects of the Open Platform, Cloud Computing and NexGen Technologies.

I am here to stay and make my mark. I will be a pioneer in ECLS in the ed:TECH stream. I am launching good stuff in good time and I will be doing a lot of YouTubing also. Also I will be selling my courses on Udemy.com.